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I am having trouble with this ISTQB practice question. I understand how the answer (C) was reached, but I don't understand one of the explanations (for option "A"). Here is the question:

Evaluating testability of the test basis and test items takes place during which phase of the testing process?

  • (A) Test design
  • (B) Test planning, monitoring and control
  • (C) Test analysis
  • (D) Test implementation

This question is from the book "A study guide to the ISTQB Foundation Level 2018 Syllabus".

At the end of this question the author says that the correct answer is "C", and explains why the others are not, but my problem is only the explanation for the option "A":

"A" is incorrect - if we want to check the testability of the test items, we need to have these objects in place, which takes place in the test design phase. So this phase is too early for testability evaluation.

("B" is incorrect from the same reason that "A". "D" is incorrect, because during the implementation phase we implement tests, so we need to know that test objects are testable - hence, this phase is too late for evaluating the testability.)

So, I can't understand what it means that "we need to have these objects in place, which takes place in the test design phase". As per the syllabus test item is part of a test object used in the test process, and test object is the component or system to be tested. And as I know we create test cases, identify test data, design the test environment, etc. during the test design phase, but I can't find anything concretely about test items or test objects that takes place during the test design phase. So if somebody could explain it to me what could it mean in more detail, I would be very grateful.

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I am also confused by the answers given. First of all I assume you or the author of the book has a typo

"C" is incorrect, because during the implementation...

should be

"D" is incorrect, because during the implementation...

The answer given for A and B does not really make sense, since it would indicate that test design is correct. Also the test design happens after the test analysis, so it can't be too early. It's actually too late. I assume something got mixed up here.

In any case, the clear answer is as you pointed out C - test analysis.

In the test design activity you already have the testable aspects identified (the test conditions). This identification happened in the test analysis activity.

In other words: The test analysis activity results in test conditions which are used as input for the test design activity. After which you can start the test implementation. This is why test analysis is the correct answer.

For questions like this the ISTQB glossary (https://glossary.istqb.org/en/search/) is of great help.

test basis

The body of knowledge used as the basis for test analysis and design. https://glossary.istqb.org/en/search/test%20basis

test item

A part of a test object used in the test process. https://glossary.istqb.org/en/term/test-item-4

test design

The activity that derives and specifies test cases from test conditions. https://glossary.istqb.org/en/term/test-design-4

test analysis

The activity that identifies test conditions by analyzing the test basis. https://glossary.istqb.org/en/search/test%20analysis

test condition

A testable aspect of a component or system identified as a basis for testing. https://glossary.istqb.org/en/term/test-condition-1

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